Automation System Integrations

A Viz Multichannel system has to integrate with external systems. This can be integrations to other Vizrt systems such as Viz One, Viz Ticker or third party systems. The Multichannel playout schedule (also commonly called playlist or running order) will often be provided from an external source. This will normally be an automation, traffic and/or scheduling system. There are many such automation systems, examples are Vizrt MOSART, Miranda, Pebble Beach, Harris.

This chapter describes some of the more common automation systems Viz Multichannel integrates with and how the integration works.

Automation Systems

An Automation System is usually located in the Master Control Room and is responsible for controlling all devices in the room in real-time (e.g. video servers, keyers, CG (Character Generators), and so on). Viz Multichannel’s integrations with automation systems are:

  • Triggering: Automation system triggers Viz Multichannel (via Media Sequencer) for starting of either primary or secondary events. Triggering protocols supported by Vizrt are TCP/IP, Intelligent Interface, VDCP, GPI, and REST. It is important to understand that though Multichannel is managing the playlist and events, the actual triggering of actions will be done by the Media Sequencer.

  • Schedules and last minute updates: If an automation system provides an API or an option to automatically generate an update file, Viz Multichannel can update its playlist using these. This is usually done with the Schedule Collector and the PlayListImporter tools. The Schedule Collector’s biggest advantage is that it stores previous data in an internal cache and therefore makes updates more efficient by saving idle updates and passing only changed events.

Automation system Integration types

Exactly how the external automation systems delivers the schedule and triggering varies greatly, but the flexible and open architecture of Multichannel ensures that most commonly used automation systems are directly supported.

There are two main types of integration to automation systems:

  • File based systems

  • Direct integrations systems (API-based)

File based automation systems will typically deliver the schedule in a pre-defined format, possibly of type Text, XML, Excel, CSV, database or proprietary binary. In this case, the typical workflow will be to have a file or directory produced by the automation system watched (or have time-based tasks running) and use PlaylistImporter and Schedule Collector to fetch schedules and updates to the Multichannel playlist.

Direct Integration systems are automation and schedule systems that have an API (Application Programming Interface) that Multichannel can interface and read information from, sometimes bi-directional. The main advantage with direct integration systems is that the file-based workflow can be avoided. Normally this leads to significant performance gains. It is also a more secure, clean and resilient setup than most file-based workflow systems and is the recommended integration type.

For an overview of the integration types and how to configure some of the more commonly used automation systems read the following sections:

Note: If you do not find your automation system listed we may still support it. Please contact your local Vizrt representative for more information.

See Also